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Engrave this Quote The nature of a society is largely determined by the direction in which talent and ambition flowby the tilt of the social landscape.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote The compulsion to take ourselves seriously is in inverse proportion to our creative capacity. When the creative flow dries up, all we have left is our importance.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote How much easier is self-sacrifice than self-realization!
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote Retribution often means that we eventually do to ourselves what we have done unto others.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote It is probably true that business corrupts everything it touches. It corrupts politics, sports, literature, art, labor unions and so on. But business also corrupts and undermines monolithic totalitarianism. Capitalism is at its liberating best in a noncapitalist environment.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote There are similarities between absolute power and absolute faith: a demand for absolute obedience, a readiness to attempt the impossible, a bias for simple solutionsto cut the knot rather than unravel it, the viewing of compromise as surrender. Both absolute power and absolute faith are instruments of dehumanization. Hence, absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote There is probably an element of malice in the readiness to overestimate people; we are laying up for ourselves the pleasure of later cutting them down to size.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote We can remember minutely and precisely only the things which never really happened to us.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote It is loneliness that makes the loudest noise. This is as true of men as of dogs.
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-Eric Hoffer
Action(s)
Engrave this Quote One of the marks of a truly vigorous society is the ability to dispense with passion as a midwife of action --the ability to pass directly from thought to action.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote Action is at bottom a swinging and flailing of the arms to regain one's balance and keep afloat.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote The link between ideas and action is rarely direct. There is almost always an intermediate step in which the idea is overcome. De Tocqueville points out that it is at times when passions start to govern human affairs that ideas are most obviously translated into political action. The translation of ideas into action is usually in the hands of people least likely to follow rational motives. Hence, it is that action is often the nemesis of ideas, and sometimes of the men who formulate them. One of the marks of the truly vigorous society is the ability to dispense with passion as a midwife of action the ability to pass directly from thought to action.
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-Eric Hoffer
Advice
Engrave this Quote The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause... A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding; when it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business.
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-Eric Hoffer, Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
Age
Engrave this Quote Old age equalizes -- we are aware that what is happening to us has happened to untold numbers from the beginning of time. When we are young we act as if we were the first young people in the world.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote The end comes when we no longer talk with ourselves. It is the end of genuine thinking and the beginning of the final loneliness.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote To grow old is to grow common. Old age equalizes -- we are aware that what is happening to us has happened to untold numbers from the beginning of time. When we are young we act as if we were the first young people in the world.
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-Eric Hoffer
Ambition
Engrave this Quote Man is the only creature that strives to surpass himself, and yearns for the impossible.
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-Eric Hoffer
America
Engrave this Quote The superficiality of the American is the result of his hustling. It needs leisure to think things out; it needs leisure to mature. People in a hurry cannot think, cannot grow, nor can they decay. They are preserved in a state of perpetual puerility.
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-Eric Hoffer
Animals
Engrave this Quote Animals often strike us as passionate machines.
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-Eric Hoffer
Belief
Engrave this Quote Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy -- the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about. And since we know least about ourselves, we are ready to believe all that is said about us. Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny.
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-Eric Hoffer
Engrave this Quote The effectiveness of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude. No doctrine however profound and sublime will be effective unless it is presented as the embodiment of the one and only truth
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-Eric Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, pp. 80-81, 1951
Books
Engrave this Quote The self-styled intellectual who is impotent with pen and ink hungers to write history with sword and blood.
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-Eric Hoffer
Boredom
Engrave this Quote There is perhaps no more reliable indicator of a society's ripeness for a mass movement than the prevalence of unrelieved boredom. In most all the descriptions of the periods preceding the rise of mass movements there is reference to vast ennui; and in their earliest stages mass movements are more likely to find sympathizers and support among the bored than among the exploited and oppressed. To a deliberate fomenter of mass upheavals, the report that people are bored stiff should be at least as encouraging as that they are suffering from intolerable economic or political abuses.
When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored. The consciousness of a barren, meaningless existence is the main fountainhead of boredom. People who are not conscious of their individual separatedness, as is the case with those who are members or a compact tribe, church, party, etcetera, are not accessible to boredom. The differentiated individual is free of boredom only when he is engaged either in creative work or some absorbing occupation or when he is wholly engrossed in the struggle for existence. Pleasure-chasing and dissipation are ineffective palliatives. Where people live autonomous lives and are not badly off, yet are without abilities or opportunities for creative work or useful action, there is no telling to what desperate and fantastic shifts they might resort in order to give meaning and purpose to their lives.
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-Eric Hoffer, The True Believer (Part II - The Potential Converts; ch.10)
Business
Engrave this Quote A grievance is most poignant when almost redressed.
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-Eric Hoffer

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